You don’t have to go home, but ya can’t stay here. Andrea’s Pub in Clifton Park closed its doors April 30 after what appears to be nearly four decades servicing the locals of Southside CP (for those of you who don’t know, that’s what us upper-middle class Clifton Park residents call Exit 8).
The real reason for closing is unknown –I will say I might’ve gotten some inside scoop from the bartender when I visited the place –but the bar’s Facebook page has confirmed it’s Closing Time for real and as of this week, all of the signage has been removed from the hanging logo to the light-up beer signs on the interior.
Now, if you’ve driven by or been to this bar before, you are probably wondering why I’ve wandered in here plenty of times and am sad to see it go (both true). You don’t have to judge a book by its cover, but if you did, this place would be a sketchy AF book. But a good one.
There’s a few reasons why I’ll miss Andrea’s Pub — the most important one being that I find dive bars to be extremely fascinating, and Andrea’s was a dive bar at its finest (or not so fine, I guess that would actually make it a better dive bar?).
Anyway, dive bars are like…a zoo where 20-somethings who promise they aren’t hipsters go to look at sad adults who’ve been hit hard by the life bus? OK that might be a little harsh, but dive bars are some very unique, interesting places.
I can go in to a dive bar with my friends and appreciate it for exactly what it is. I am way more comfortable at a dive bar than I am at some trendy spot where everyone is on their phones trying to Instagram their fancy cocktail. The trendier the bar, the more expectations you have that it’s going to be great. But dive bars are simple, and they always have Miller Lite. *raises eyebrows*
The decor hasn’t been changed in 20 years, the cast of characters provides A++ people watching, drinks are cheap, food is so-so and you don’t have to worry about being the most misbehaved one there, since there’s always a few regulars who take the cake for that.
Dive bars are a local hangout spot, whether you’re the townie drunk, the graveyard shift employee, the teenage delinquent or someone like me who truly goes to absorb the atmosphere and think about all the things that’ve gone down in the history of a place like Andrea’s.
I’d probably been there half a dozen times in the past two years after years of driving by finally wore me down and I had to see what it was all about. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t observe a little riff-raff while I was there (a guy getting kicked out for throwing his pool stick into the ceiling, a tipsy bartender making inappropriate gestures to her patrons, the list goes on) but it was always entertaining and gave me that cozy feeling only a dive bar can provide.
I guess most people aren’t surprised when a dive bar goes out of business. While it appears to be a pretty low budget operation by the looks of things, there’s still a lot that goes into running an establishment, and when your prices haven’t changed in forever and you don’t use modern marketing tools (Andrea’s didn’t even have a website, for example) it’s difficult to build your audience up aside from the locals who’ve been giving you tips and asking for “just one more” for decades.
What’s the fate of the former Andrea’s Pub building? Who knows. If you’re familiar with the massive development taking place in Clifton Park, my guess would be the site is demolished and turned into a space for something more corporate. Booooooooo.
But if it were up to me, some decent human being would bring back the space and open up another bar for the Southside CP locals to throw a few back.
There’s always Pam’s Pub, but I nearly got kicked out of there once for being a little sassy with the bartender. (She rudely asked for my ID and put it under a flashlight in what I would call quite a dramatic performance. I was well above drinking age and a margarita deep from Pancho’s…ok?!?!?!)
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